Being Church in Emerging Culture
The postmodern time is one in which people are skeptical of authority and see themselves as having a global identity, Pastor Jay Gamelin told the 2013 Synod Assembly. We now also live in ambiguous times where there is a tension between reason and mystery, he said.
“Some of the most faithful people I know are physicists, said Gamelin, “because they get what it means to live in theory rather than truth.”
He said what begins to show up and come together in postmodernism is the character of Christ. We don’t just talk about the words Jesus said, book look at how he lived his life. We are actually watching Jesus.
It’s also a time in which we recognize that what we do with our bodies affects our spirit. When young adults come to church, we say to them: “We’ll tell you when to sit and when to stand,” he said. “When we do that we are removing from them a piece of their spirituality.”
If they ask us if we believe in God, we tell them we are “Lutheran”. Coffee, Jello®, and Prairie Home Companion® are part of our identity. That’s not what they are looking for.
“They are not listening to your words, they are watching your life,” said Gamelin. “They see a lot of people with habits whose lives do not look conformed to Christ.